.22 Hornet "WCC 58" USAF survival round

It measures approx. 5.3 x 35.5mm and has a military style headstamp.

0.22 Hornet military, Western Cartridge Company 1958 contract loading for the Air Force pilot survival kit.:-)


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couple of boxes
typical issue packaging,
hornet%20foil%20pack%20front hornet%20foil%20pack%20back

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Usually hunting ammo is made to expand at the nose to inflict most damage.

Ammunition for survival rifles in Airforces has to be FMJ…Hague Convention 1899.
The Germans in their Krieghoff Luftwaffe drillings, 8x57JRS, used Dutch Patroon 23 Scherpe
an FMJ 7.9x57R MG cartridge, which was almost Identical to the 8x57JRS softpoint hunting round. Shotbarrels were 16 ga.
These were issued to long range bombers in the Arctic, Russia and North Africa, all places where large predators and game could be encountered.


I am sorry, but a „Luftwaffedrilling“had the calibre 9,3x74R.
b.t.w. shotbarrels were 12 ga.



Iam referring to the Kreighoff version, not the JP Sauer.
From a ( USA) Guns magazine article in the 1970s, showing a cased KRIEGHOFF 8x57JRS/ 16 ga Drilling, with repacked Dutch 7.92 x 57 R ammo, captured in North Africa in final months of Tunisian campaign, 1943.

Doc AV

I don’t know what they captured there, but the M30 was only made by Sauer.


But Pete’s 3rd box says “soft point”.

I remember something about Germany opposed to shot gun usage by US in WWI and WWII. Supposedly German military never fielded shot guns. But here we have a Luftwaffe shot gun.

The Original issue .22 H was soft point, but they changedto FMJ when they realised that
the presumed enemies could not read/ understand the box labels, also, the gunscarried a number of cartridges in the stockholes…with no exculpatory labels.
During WWII, .45ACP shotshells were issued to aircrew in Pacific survival kits, butthe explanatory notes on the packets served little purpose if they were captured by the Japanese or later, the North Koreans or Chinese.

Doc AV

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To add to Brian’s description, the cartridge you show is an M65.


Nice boxes you show there. The first would be the “T” version of the M65 with a 35 gr. FMJ bullet and would have a commercial headstamp?
The second would be the earlier M39 with a 45 gr. FMJ bullet and also a commercial headstamp?
The last I believe to be regular commercial loads in a commercial box with the special foil wrapper.for the original Air Force contract.

Are there known military type headstamps other than the WCC58, WCC 60 and RA 59?

The (9) round M65 pack can be seen on the cover of Journal #326.


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Concerning the .45 Shot cartridges, the early Remington box label for the T-23 Shot Cartridge was printed in three languages on the box itself, English, Japanese, and German.
I cannot reproduce the Japanes Characters here, but the English and German “warnings” are as follows:

English: Use only for hunting game. Do not use against enemy troops.

German: Nur bei der jagd auf Wild zu benutzen! Darf nicht gegen feindliche Truppen gebruacht werden!

Since these labels could be read by German and Japanese troops, I don’t know what the reason was for the elimination of these warnings from the later box labels.

The headstamp of the ammunition in this T-23 box was “R A 42.” I do not have the complete box; only those portions that were used on the H.P. White Laboratory Data Card I have for it (H.P. White Collection Umber 2663). On their data cards, they only attached those portions of the label that were different from each other. Parts of the box which duplicated information on other parts of the same container were omitted.

The file card collection was sold at a Chicago International Cartridge Show at Mundelein, Illinois, many, many years ago

John Moss

John Moss

I can see that our Latin American friends also had/have survival ammo. Did/do Europeans thought/think about air crew survival? A co-worker’s father was a co-pilot of B-17 during a bombing raid on Germany, and when they got shot down and he broke his legs landing with a parachute, his biggest problem was NOT hunting for game, but surviving local farmers who came with pitch forks and angry attitude, and the only reason he survived was that SS showed up and took him prisoner (away from really angry farmers).

Vlad - the Russians cared. I have a small aluminum-case survival kit that I was told was with every Russian Pilot if the bailed out of a damaged aircraft, and stayed with them until they hit the ground. In it is a box, also Aluminum, that holds 16 rounds of 9 x 18 mm Makarov ammunition using the original cardboard divider from a normal box. The only marking on the box is “Cartridges” in Cyrillic Russian.

I already have a picture of one in my files, so I will make an attempt to post it here, only my second such attempt ever. I may screw this up, so no promises.

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Well, that failed. I will try one more time.


Amazing. It worked. Not the best picture I have seen, but it tells the story.

John Moss

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Are you sure? Thanks!

Cool box. I think I’ll start collecting survival cartridges on the side. I heard that during Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989) Soviet pilots carried loaded handguns because suicide was preferable to the fate of being captured by Taliban. Different meaning of survival.


DId you just post a picture?!?

I knew it could happen…